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Tuesday, April 16th | Soft-Guy Eras (Drizzle Drizzle)

Clearview Today / Abidan Shah
The Truth Network Radio
April 16, 2024 6:00 am

Tuesday, April 16th | Soft-Guy Eras (Drizzle Drizzle)

Clearview Today / Abidan Shah

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April 16, 2024 6:00 am

In this episode of Clearview Today, Dr. Shah talks about modern trends in social media and how culture has changed over time.

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That's And use that promo code, T-O-D-A-Y. Welcome to Clearview Today with Dr. Abbadan Shah, the daily show that engages mind and heart for the gospel of Jesus Christ. I'm Ryan Hill.

I'm John Galantis. And you can find our show online by visiting Or if you have any questions for Dr. Shah or suggestions for new topics, write in and let us know at 252-582-5028. Or you can email us at contact at

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We'll leave a link in the description so you can do just that. And of course, today is April 16th. You know what that means. It means our date, the word, is coming from Hebrews 4-16. It says, Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need. Boldly to the throne of grace. So many times I feel like we confuse weakness from meekness.

Yes, yeah, yeah. We confuse just, I'm this little mousy Christian. I'm just so sorry for existing.

Like I got up. Do whatever you're going to do and I'm just grateful to even be breathing. But it says we can boldly approach the throne of grace and why can we do that? Because of our relationship with Christ. Yeah, we don't have to, like when I come to God, like we come with reverence. That doesn't mean we come cowering and we come fearful and we come like, I don't know what this dude's going to do to me if I step a toe out of line.

Neither does come boldly to the throne of grace mean I walk into the throne room, kick my shoes off, pop myself down on the throne beside him. What's up, cat daddy? Yeah, yeah.

You know, it's not any of that. It's knowing that you can come before your father because that's your father. Yeah. I mean, like when I was a little kid, like, yeah, you've got that, oh, I don't want to say the wrong thing to upset dad. But the older I get, I just start to really realize like, this is my father. Yeah. You know what I mean?

Like this is my dad, my father, who I can come before and ask for anything that we need. Such a good reminder for us. Yeah. Just want to remind you guys that today's episode is brought to you in part by the Date the Word app.

You can download it for free right now on iPhone or Android, any smart device that you have. Every single day connects today's date to God's Word with the hope of making it more memorable for you. That's right. It's Tuesday. Tuesday, Tuesday, Tuesday. Tuesday is gone with the wind.

And that means— You remember that one, David? That means that our Tuesday segment— It's time for the gripe vine. Welcome to the gripe vine, everybody. Welcome to the gripe vine. For those of you that are new or visiting today, the gripe vine is a chance for us to—just the way it says, gripe— To harvest the gripes in our lives. That's right.

That are ready for the plucking. What's going on in the world today? What was that?

What just happened? That's from a Flight of the Conchords song. I think it's called Issues. It's a really funny song.

I think it's clean, so you can look it up. Oh, that was funny. So, a lot of stuff going on in culture today. We're going to talk about this on today's episode, but it's a pet peeve of mine. Do y'all know what I mean when I say the soft guy era? So, I didn't until you told me about this off mic.

Yeah, we were talking about it yesterday. The soft guy era is this. This is mostly a Christian show, which means we have a very, very wide Christian fan base, which means a lot of them are probably on the older side, not really familiar with TikTok. TikTok is more or less setting the trends for culture today.

So, soft guy era. A while back, I'm going to set this up and explain it to you. A while back, it's actually kind of funny, but I'm griping about it. There was this woman who posted a video of herself on a date with a guy, and he took her to the Cheesecake Factory. She did not like that. So, she recorded a video of herself refusing to get out of the car, because she was a strong, independent woman who took all this time to get ready, even though she was an hour late for the date.

Gross. And she just refused to get out. And she was like, if a guy's going to take me on a date, he's taking me somewhere good. And it really blew up not in her favor, but a weird side effect of that was, and we've seen this a little bit, the more negative attention she got, the more copycats started popping up.

That's true. So, there was this big, big, big wave of women being like, ladies, know your worth. You are the prize. Don't let any man tell you that you're not the prize. If he's not paying 100% of your bills, dump him. This was legit serious.

They were 100%. So, what men have done here in 2024 is, they're flipping the script and saying the same thing, and it's facetious trying to tell people, trying to show these women how silly their logic was, but it's having the reverse effect where the women are getting really, really upset about it, and some men are actually buying into it. So, now you have a bunch of guys who are like, there's a bunch who are being ironic. There's a bunch more who are unironically being like, no, men are the prize. The women should be paying our bills. We should have women moving in our houses and paying the bills legitimately. Like, when I go on a date, the woman should pay the entire thing.

And those men are dead serious. That's my gripe. I hate that mindset in both directions. I am a prize to be won.

I am the grand whatever. I hate that mindset. Well, it's real. And it's crazy because I go on TikTok, not because I like it, but because we have a radio show, and it's important for us to talk about the things that are happening today. But it's also really interesting to see how things start as a joke and become legitimate cultural shifts.

That is very true. And that's happened more than just with the soft guy era. That's happened for a while since the internet has been around, since social media has been around. It's like something begins as a joke or as a prank or as making fun of something, but then it really does catch on. It's meme theory. It's a legitimate scientific thing called meme theory. And it's basically an idea that starts as a germ, spreads into massive cultural shifts across humanity. And we've never seen that before. It's insane that what started as a joke has now become a massive... Fabric of our society.

What in the world? That's my gripe for the day. Stop letting clowns on the internet dictate how our culture runs. That's a larger gripe than just the soft guy era. Yeah, true. I do want to talk to Dr. Shaw about this, because I think it does have massive implications for our younger generations. I know that's really important to you, as well. But, man, it's crazy. Let's get into this a little bit more, because we have a whole generation of people who are coming up and being taught by the internet on how they should think about gender roles.

And that's not good. If it weren't courting disaster, I would want to get some of your students on the show. But I feel like they would just speak in Gen Z language and nobody would understand it. Some of them, maybe. Some of them might do a good job.

I don't know. Let's bring Dr. Shaw in and we'll continue this conversation. But if you guys have any questions or suggestions for new topics, write in and let us know at 252-582-5028. Or you can visit us online at Stay tuned.

We'll be right back. including Dr. Shaw's sermons, original music, a full online store, weekly prayer gatherings, and so much more. Not to mention the number one best-selling Christian talk show of all time. I don't know if that's accurate. Well, maybe not yet, but that's why we want people to download the app. If you're listening from the Triangle area, we encourage you to check out Clearview Church in person. But if not, you can still follow all of our content on the Clearview app. It's 100% free on the Apple Store and Google Play Store.

And best of all, all of our content is right there in one convenient spot. Make sure you download the Clearview app today and let's get back to the show. That's right. And we are here today in the Clearview Today studio with Dr. Abadan Shah, who is a Ph.D. in New Testament textual criticism, professor at Carolina University, author, full-time pastor, and the host of today's show. Dr. Shah, we are in our soft guy era. No, no.

Do you know what that is? No, we're not. No, we're not. So I do want to say we talked about the soft guy era. I did realize this. You picked a bad day for the Hawaiian shirt. That's fair. You picked a bad day for the Hawaiian shirt. That's fair. But that doesn't make him a soft guy. It doesn't make you a soft guy, but I do think it's...

So we talked about the Hawaiian shirt. He's an outdoorsy guy. He's an outdoorsy guy.

You are more outdoorsy than me. And you know how to work a grill, which I can't say. True. I'll give you that. However, you know how to change the oil on a car, which I don't. Fair enough.

So there's trade-offs. We're in our Christian man era. Now, that's an era I could get behind.

Yeah, I could do that. That's an era I could get behind. Biblical manhood. And it'd be easy to talk about that today, but we wanted to take this in a different direction.

Dr. Shell, we were talking about this soft guy era phase kind of earlier this week. I wanted to get your thoughts on it and see if maybe there's an actual conversation to be had here.

Yeah, you sent me some links on that. I didn't quite understand at first what they were talking about. I didn't know they were joking or serious, but apparently they're somewhere in between. So it's this weird symbiotic relationship where nobody seems to know what's a joke.

Like, the jokes have gotten so out of control. I don't know anymore. What happened was, as we talked about in the intro, there was one particular woman who posted a video of her refusing to go on a date with a guy because he was going to take her to Cheesecake Factory. By the way, Cheesecake Factory is a pretty good date. I'm like, I would go to Cheesecake Factory. I've been there many times. I went there for my stinking prom dinner.

That's a great place. But anyway, it blew up in her face. People really railed against her. Now, why was she upset about that? Because she said that was a cheap place. It's a chain restaurant.

It's a chain restaurant. She's better than that. She's better than that. Really?

Yes. And she called other women, hey ladies, know your worth. If a guy is going to take you to Cheesecake Factory on the first date, he's a bum.

And you shouldn't be with him. Really? Yeah, really. But this was not a joke. She was dead serious. So it started this big trend of women. I thought that would be like, oh, he took you to Cheesecake Factory.

He'd be like, okay, he's spent some money. Have you seen their menu? It's extensive. It's nice. But she was dead serious. So it started this thing. That was a couple years ago. Maybe one year ago or two years ago.

I think it was one year ago. It started this big thing where women were like, she's right. We are the prize. And we've known we're the prize.

And it was all these really dumb arguments. We're the ones who keep the human race going. We can work and keep the home running. Men can only do one.

They're complaining because they don't want to do housework. So women really are the stronger species. And as such, we know that we're the prize. So we demand more from our men. So men, as they tend to do on the internet, started just making fun of them. And they started reversing the logic just to show the women how silly it was.

And they were like, no, I'll tell you this. Men are this, and men can do that. And men have always been the prize. We're the ones who go off to war. We're the ones who build society.

I didn't see any women building the Golden Gate Bridge or building the Great Wall of China, the pyramids. So anyway, they were joking around. And they were like, if a woman is moving in with me and she's not paying my bills, I'm dumping her. If I take her out and she doesn't pay the whole thing, she's a bum and she's broke. And it's giving broke girl energy.

Broke girl energy. And I'm rambling. It got to a place where the jokes really started to spawn a group of men who were dead serious and were like, that's true. That's true.

We are the prize. Now we've crossed over from something that was kind of funny to something that is really problematic. It's problematic because now there's men who are... But the jokes are so facetious. And they're not saying, hey, I'm just joking.

It's like they're presenting it as a fallacious argument, but then men over here are being like, they're right. This is how I'm applying myself to dating now. And I was going to ask about gender roles between men and women, but really I want to know your thoughts on how something that started as a joke has really, with the power of the internet, has become a cultural shift and how that happens. Well, social media is today's art.

That's what it's become. It does not mean every art is good, but social media today is how people express themselves. In the past, art was how people expressed themselves and communicated. So as Oscar Wilde, who's not my favorite person, I don't agree with him, had a horrible lifestyle, but he would say, if I can find that quote right quick, he would say, life imitates art far more than art imitates life. So in some sense, there may be just this tongue-in-cheek remark or these videos, which in time people are going, well, it does make sense.

Because if you're going to talk down like this about me, then I'm going to talk down about you. And there's a whole lot more there that we can get into in a few moments, but I think it's coming from a principle which has been in our world for a long time. That's a great perspective of viewing social media as today's art form, because you think about all these creators, you think about these people who are putting content out there, and it really is. You're composing a video, you're stringing things together, you're editing.

I mean, even young middle school kids now know how to edit videos through things like TikTok and Instagram. And these people who are putting content out there are called influencers for a reason, because they are exerting influence over an entire population of people. Yes, that's true. And back in Renaissance times, that's how people exerted influence, by painting or sculpting or building.

That's whatever they made or created or crafted is what impacted people in the way they lived and taught and dressed and even approached religion. Renaissance came before the Reformation. That's a good point.

That's a great point. So when it was back to the sources in the world is when they also said, hmm, back to the sources when it comes to the New Testament. Let's go get to the original instead of going just to the Latin. It's like a real thing that, I mean, I said that was a cultural shift where you did have to go back to the original because art had impacted the way people thought about Christianity to that degree. Yes, of course. After the fall of Constantinople, when all these scholars, Greek professors and teachers, when they went towards Florence, Italy, and they brought with them all their manuscripts and all the information they had that the West was lacking, that's when people looked at these things and said, wow, we knew these things were there and we were reading them in second, third hand resources or sources. Now we're seeing them firsthand. Wow.

And so let's go back to that. It changed the way people were painting. Previously, if you see medieval paintings, which I like, but when you see Renaissance paintings, they're very different. They're more lifelike. Like almost photorealistic.

Yes. And that's a good point, too, because they look so real and they look so surreal and ethereal, but they feel like I can reach out. That's a real person. I guess people started to think because it looks so lifelike. Because in classical Greece, that's how the paintings were and that's how the sculptures were. And so people saw these angelic little cherubims and all this stuff and they're like, okay, that's what it is.

And over time, it starts to... It became part of their thinking. And then also how that became prevalent in the culture, then also in the church. Of course, other things were happening in the culture at the time. The pushback against the Roman Catholic Church and purgatory and all those things were also happening at the same time that this was the perfect storm. So do you think the Roman Catholic Church used that art shift to gain power and authority, or do you think that those paintings just reflected the beliefs that they already had? No, they had nothing to do with that.

That's just... I'm talking about the Protestant Reformation was a pushback against the Roman Catholic Church. Right, but I guess my question is, did the Roman Catholic Church use all that Renaissance way of thinking to gain their authority, or did they already have it? No, I don't think that was... Not related at all.

Not related at all. And so then people began to think differently. Even the dresses changed, music changed. Meme theory is talked about in the context of social media and the internet, but that idea is not a new concept. It's not a new concept for art, like we've been talking about, to impact and influence the direction of society. Like Dostoevsky said, at first art imitates life, then life will imitate art, then life will find its very existence from the arts. I think we really can't understate how true that is, because especially if you look at social media, our kids, our Generation Z, they are a reflection of what they see on TikTok. They're a reflection of what they see on the internet. Yeah, art is influencing or impacting their lives and their thinking. A great example of this, and this is a funny example... And again, I'm not saying it's wrong or right yet. A funny example of this is Sling that is picked up by Gen Z and Gen Alpha.

My kids are largely Gen Alpha. And so they'll say things that I have heard on TikTok and Instagram. They don't have social media accounts.

Their friends don't have social media accounts. But they'll say those terms, and I'm like, where did you hear that? My friends at school are saying it. Well, they have an older sibling, and the older sibling has heard it, and so then it just kind of trickles down into my second grader who knows what some of these terms are. And what she's repeating is not bad. But I'm like, where have you heard that?

How do you know that? Even my five-year-old will say pop culture references, and I'm like, where have you heard that? Well, it's just part of our society. It just trickles down in there. Yeah, ideas are a lot like germs, and it's crazy. As they spread, they change. So it's like that telephone game where you have a joke or you have an idea, and then a year from now, it has blossomed into something that has spread massively across the world, and it's so unrecognizable.

And I wanted to ask you this, and it sounds like I'm mocking you or making fun of you, but I'm not. Legitimately, what was it like growing up with no internet, without the internet, and then coming here and seeing it for the first time? I can imagine it wasn't as powerful first. I was here. I was in America, and there was no internet. There was no internet. Well, I guess you had in 1991. Yeah, I came in 1991. Okay, okay. No, of course there was, but it was very select few.

Primitive, rare. Yeah, I mean, yes, they had emails, this and that, but it was very, very handful of people even knew about how to use that internet or email or whatever. Yeah, it was not that. I guess how was your childhood in India growing up different from even a kid who's in the same part of the world now, but has all the tools of the internet at their disposal? Oh, very different, of course, very different. There is no comparison. Just to be able to pick up your phone and to research things, growing up, we wouldn't even go to the computer to research because the computer would not have it.

Wow. I mean, unless you had downloaded or had a disk with Encyclopedia Britannica. Like a floppy disk? Yeah, that may be the only reason, but then again, that's not how we did it.

Yeah, true. So you would go to the library, and you'd pull down books and volumes and find what information you needed, and you didn't just take your phone and take a picture of it. You had to take it to the Xerox machine, and you don't just use the Xerox machine. You would give it to somebody else, and they would make a copy for you.

So I mean, it's a very different world. It was kind of funny because I was in the library the other day, and I was at the library at school, and I was looking for a book, and I never go in there. And I know it's a library that you used to frequent a lot, so I was like, hey, I'm looking for this book. You were like, oh, use the call number. What is the call number? And I had to get on the phone with David and be like, how do I, what is the call number? He was like, you have to go by the number, and the number's on the spine, but it's also on the thing. And I was like, I'm confused.

Is there someone who can do this for me? Yeah. There are two ways to respond to these changes, whether changes with the internet or changes with these new social media movements. You can either reject them wholesale and choose a primitive life, or you can embrace them wholesale and just go along with the culture. There are those two extremes that people usually go with.

And I don't think either of them are healthy. I don't think we should just reject them. If you look at the history of Christianity, we always embraced the modern. Just the idea of having a book, the codex, was moving away from a scroll. People still don't know for sure where the codex come from, the birth of the codex. There's some ideas here and there about that, but my field is textual criticism, so I know some things about the origin.

But there's still no concrete fact that this is where it all began. But what we do know is that Christians were the ones who really popularized the use of the codex because, and codex, by the way, for those who are listening, is instead of having a roll. It's like a book. You have a book.

That's it. It's just a book. So you have pages you can turn instead of scrolls.

A big scroll you have to unroll. So the reason it became popular with Christians is because of cross-referencing. Oh, good point.

Yeah, turn to this page. Yes, or this passage. They didn't have chapters and references, but they knew in the latter part of Isaiah, or they had Eusebian canons and all that.

We don't want to get into all that. But anyways, there was ways to know this passage is being quoted by Paul, and it's coming from Isaiah. Think about going from a scroll to a book.

That's a game changer when you're trying to research and cross-reference like that. And you see Vaticanus, Sinaiticus. And so Christians embraced it. True, or even back then, when the hymns were brand new and Fanny Crosby was writing her hymns, it's like, can we just go back to our Gregorian chants? Yeah, these modern hymns. I don't like this one, two, four verse. I don't think anybody did say that.

I don't think anybody did. They probably said more about Anglican anthems. Yeah. And then, of course, coming off social media, we can either repel it or we can embrace it and all that. I want to shift the discussion for the next couple of minutes and talk about what they are talking about, right? So they're talking about men feeling that they are also worthy.

Yes, yeah. And I think I have some opinions on that. I believe all of this is reflective of where our culture is now with regards to men, women roles. Yeah, true. So yes, there is something tongue in cheek, something funny about this whole movement.

And maybe some of these guys are just doing this to get attention or just doing it just to jab the women for calling themselves more special and being sarcastic. But also, since we have done away with the value of a man and the value of a woman coming from scripture, now the world is creating what they think is valuable. And I think a lot of this, that's a great point, and a lot of this conflict is coming from the fact that there's no foundation. So it's just people's opinions versus people's opinions. And nobody can, quote, unquote, prove that they're right. Because there's no scripture to draw from.

And it's just tit for tat. That's pretty much what's happening instead of, here is the underlying rock solid foundation coming from how the creator has made us. Because if you reject the creator, the one who has the blueprint, the DNA of how he's designed a man to be a man, a woman to be a woman, then of course you're going to create everything. And again, if you're listening to me, this is not to say, oh, what those men are saying is junk and stupid and of course a woman is. No, wait, wait, if women don't understand that the man is also created in the image of God, if they don't understand how God made Adam first and then the woman for man, that's coming from scripture. I didn't come up with that.

Take it up with God. Does that make the woman less special? Of course not. Yes, the woman was made from man, but she was beautifully made. She was not taken out of the dirt and the dust of the earth. She was taken from man. So there was something very special about her creation.

See how God perfectly balanced the man and the woman. But if you don't have that foundation, then you have all these arguments. So I don't want to quickly discount what these men are saying, whether they're doing it just to be funny or sarcastic. I want us to really go back and ask the question, where are our values coming from? True, that's a great point.

Examine the source. Well, I love the word that you used. We are getting away from the blueprint. I even think about the building that's going up next door. Yes, that's a great illustration. Imagine if I went over there and I was like, okay, I've got the blueprints here.

I just don't think this one thing is valuable. So I'm going to build the steps. I'm not going to build them to this height. I'm going to build them a little bit bigger, because my legs are longer. But now you get someone with shorter legs, and they're trying to climb it up.

There's no standard. I've just done it to myself, so I keep doing that and keep doing that. Imagine that building. It's a fun house. It'll be like a funny house. There'll be slides and ball pits and things like that. And yes, maybe that can function and the building will still be standing, but that's not at all the original design.

Imagine us fighting inside that building like, this is my spot. No, that's my spot. Right, and all the pews are unevenly spaced. But for me, it's completely perfect.

Maybe not, because somebody else will change something in there, so it's not going to be perfect for you either. And I think that's a great point, because it's not just one person saying, it's all these different voices over the internet slamming their values. And the thing is, it's not going into a vacuum.

It's going into our students' ears, our young people's ears and their minds. That's right. So the woman is to respect the man. And I would say in our culture for a long time, unfortunately, men have not been very respectable. Right, true, that's true. But I would not say every man is a worthless buffoon, because many are doing wonderful things and are following God and are gentlemen.

But then there are some who are not. But if women start talking the way this woman did, and I don't even know who she is, maybe she had a point because her boyfriend, a man, has a billion dollars, then of course he shouldn't take her to Cheesecake Factory. Maybe he should have taken her. I don't know where he should have taken her. He should have bought her a Cheesecake Factory again.

He should have bought her a Cheesecake Factory and inaugurated that on her first date, I guess. Maybe why she's saying that, I don't know. But I think we have to realize we are having these discussions because the foundation is gone. And there is no respect for man, and neither is there value for women in our culture. And so women are being disrespected, or mistreated, and men are being disrespected. So who's right, who's wrong? I don't know. The answer, if we don't go back to the source, the answer is we're all wrong. We're both wrong. That's right.

We've got to go back to the source for those biblical roles. So good. If you guys enjoyed today's episode, if it was helpful for you, write in and let us know at 252-582-5028. You can visit us online at

Don't forget, you can partner with us financially on that same website. Scroll to the bottom, click that donate button, and let us know what's coming from our Clear Read Today show. John, what's coming up on tomorrow's episode? We've got Dr. Shah's book club. We are mid-month, and that means we've got another book for you guys, picked specifically by Dr. Shah. We're going to shout it out and talk about it on tomorrow's episode. Very nice. Make sure you guys are here. We love you guys. We'll see you at Clear Read Today.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-04-16 08:25:21 / 2024-04-16 08:40:02 / 15

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